Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Elite bargains and the politics of war and peace in Uganda and Zambia.

Lindemann, Stefan (2010) Elite bargains and the politics of war and peace in Uganda and Zambia. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (27MB) | Preview


This PhD thesis starts from the puzzle of striking differences in civil war occurrence across Sub-Saharan Africa, exemplified by the two countries of Uganda and Zambia. While post-colonial Uganda has experienced no less than 15 cases of civil war, Zambia has been able to avoid civil war since independence in 1964. To explain this extreme variation in the two countries' vulnerability to civil war, I first review the five most influential theoretical approaches in the civil war literature. While most of these approaches fall short of resolving my puzzle, several arguments that emphasise the need for elite power-sharing offer a promising starting point. Against this backdrop, I go on to develop a theoretical approach that focuses on the inclusiveness of elite politics. I argue that a country's propensity for war or peace is determined by the inclusiveness of the 'elite bargain', i.e. the distribution of access to positions of state power (political, military, economic and territorial) between contending social groups. This hypothesis is confirmed by my empirical findings, which are based on 103 interviews, a comprehensive set of original data on the inter-group distribution of political, military, economic and territorial posts, and in-depth historical analysis. In Uganda, I trace recurrent civil war back to the persistence of exclusionary elite bargains. By contrast, Zambia has been able to contain the spectre of civil war by forging and maintaining inclusive elite bargains. My detailed two-country comparison reveals that differences in civil war occurrence reflect variation in the relative trend, depth, scope, authenticity and perception of the elite bargain. There is also evidence for the relevance of several complementary explanatory factors, including violent state repression, socioeconomic inter-group inequalities, political leadership, levels of urbanisation, and regional spillover effects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Development

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics